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Bartholomeus van der Helst was a Dutch portrait painter. In Amsterdam Van der Helst was a contemporary of Rembrandt. He soon became the most popular painter of portraits in that city, his flattering portrayals in the style of Anthony van Dyck being more immediately appealing than Rembrandt's dark and introspective later work. Some of Rembrandt's pupils, including Ferdinand Bol and Govaert Flinck, adopted Van Helst's style instead of their master's.

His large group portrait, Banquet of the Amsterdam Civic Guard in Celebration of the Peace of Münster, was painted in 1648, and exhibited to popular acclaim. It was this painting that sealed his fame for future generations, according to Arnold Houbraken, and it was admired by Godfried Kneller.

When Joshua Reynolds visited Amsterdam in 1781, he praised the painting as "perhaps, the first picture of portraits in the world, comprehending more of those qualities which make a perfect portrait than any other I have ever seen".

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Bartholomeus van der Helst was a Dutch portrait painter. In Amsterdam Van der Helst was a contemporary of Rembrandt. He soon became the most popular painter of portraits in that city, his flattering portrayals in the style of Anthony van Dyck being more immediately appealing than Rembrandt's dark and introspective later work. Some of Rembrandt's pupils, including Ferdinand Bol and Govaert Flinck, adopted Van Helst's style instead of their master's.

His large group portrait, Banquet of the Amsterdam Civic Guard in Celebration of the Peace of Münster, was painted in 1648, and exhibited to popular acclaim. It was this painting that sealed his fame for future generations, according to Arnold Houbraken, and it was admired by Godfried Kneller.

When Joshua Reynolds visited Amsterdam in 1781, he praised the painting as "perhaps, the first picture of portraits in the world, comprehending more of those qualities which make a perfect portrait than any other I have ever seen". More...

 
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